REVIEW: Eggers latest epic is an entertaining viking revenge story

Check out this weeks' Sentinel Cinema podcast after the review...


How do you like your viking revenge movies? If you want them moody, gory and artsy, then “The Northman” is exactly what you’ll want to watch.

Director Robert Eggers has earned himself a very weird and wild reputation with his previous films, “The Witch” in 2015 and “The Lighthouse” in 2019. He’s back now with “The Northman,” which readily embraces his weird, indie style, while telling a fairly straight forward revenge tale. It may be too artistic for some. It may be too violent for others.

In the year 895, a viking king is betrayed and murdered by his own brother, while his son, the prince, is able to escape. That prince grows into a strong, violent man hellbent on avenging his father, saving his mother and killing his uncle.

“The Northman” is a seamless blend of two different types of movies: an action-packed revenge flick and an artsy, cinematographic marvel. This is what you get when a “visionary” indie movie darling decides to make his version of a big budget, action spectacle. “The Northman” is equal parts violent viking fights and beautifully shot cinematography.

If you enjoy either of those things, you should have a pretty good time at “The Northman.”

As a movie, it works just fine. The artistic and mystical elements never get so weird that the audience loses track of what’s going on. And the story and characters are solidly built, making it an easy movie to follow. It’s a classic revenge story.

The viking setting is particularly fun. A lot of attention is paid to detail, from buildings to clothing to weaponry. The movie does a lot with its period setting.

There are deeper themes to explore if one is so inclined. And there are a handful of supporting characters that help round out the cast. Alexander Skarsgård and Anya-Taylor Joy both do a fine job as the lead characters, bringing depth and psychotic energy to the straight forward nature of the revenge narrative.

“The Northman” is a very well-made film that looks incredible, while telling a fairly entertaining revenge story. It’s a good watch all around, one should just be very aware of what they’re getting into if they choose to watch.

It’s a little too artsy to be a regular action movie, and it’s a little too simple and filled with action to be a full-on artsy movie. It rides the line between both and is a fine watch because of it.

“The Northman” is playing in theaters and is not yet available for streaming.


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